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House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow I will be meeting with my provincial and territorial counterparts in Winnipeg to build on the excellent co-operation that we have seen thus far.

We remain on target in producing a safe and effective vaccine for Canadians. Other necessary elements of our pandemic plan are also being implemented, working with the provinces and the territories.

Our commitment to co-operation and the health of Canadians stands in stark contrast to the leader of the Liberal Party, who is only interested in playing politics with H1N1. The leader of the Liberal Party should take—

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway.

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, in January the government promised to deliver infrastructure dollars to cities and municipalities to get our economy moving.

In my riding of Vancouver Kingsway, we are counting on those federal dollars to boost business and create jobs. However, just this weekend I spoke to the mayor of Vancouver and was shocked to learn that Canada's third largest city had not received one single penny of infrastructure funds. We have many worthy projects ready to go, from housing to roads to bridges, but nothing in nine months.

When will Vancouver receive its fair share of infrastructure stimulus spending?

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I find that most interesting. I wonder if he told the mayor of Vancouver that he voted against any money going to any community in the country. That is the real outrage.

I am happy to correct the record. This government is investing $416 million in the Evergreen public transport line. Where is that? Vancouver. We are putting $450 million into the Canada Line. Where is that? Vancouver. We are putting $365 million into the South Fraser Perimeter Road. Where is that? Vancouver.

It sounds like we are getting the job done.

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Actually, Mr. Speaker, those are not Vancouver. He should look at a map.

The Conservative government seems to have forgotten the action in its own action plan. The government cannot get infrastructure dollars into Vancouver, but it has no problem getting money out of people's pockets through the HST.

This new tax created by the Conservatives and supported by the Liberals has British Columbians feeling betrayed. From haircuts to home heating, this tax makes life harder for British Columbians. It is bad policy during a recession.

Is this the Conservatives' economic action plan for Vancouver, wherever the minister thinks it is? No stimulus spending and--

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Finance.

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I was in Vancouver last week and I saw the Canada Line. It was actually in downtown Vancouver.

The decision on harmonization, as I said in the House the other day, is a decision for the provinces that have not yet harmonized. There is a federal proposal that is the same for every province, and some provinces over the years have chosen to harmonize and others have not. Ultimately of course it is a decision for the provinces to make.

As the Leader of the Opposition said, and this is the Liberal Party position, I think, “We support harmonization. We have no criticism of the Ontario government's budget. We think it is--

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Richmond—Arthabaska.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, in July, the Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food wrote to his federal counterpart, calling for an organic certification equivalence. Not just the Government of Quebec, but the entire organic products industry wants to have its products for foreign markets recognized. Unfortunately, Quebec's request was turned down by a government official via the media.

Will the minister listen to reason and say yes to Quebec's request?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, we agreed that it is important for Canada to have standardized certification across the country for all provinces. We make up a country called Canada, and we are trying to set a single standard for all provinces.

That said, we have also reached an agreement with Quebec whereby we will accept organic products certified according to its standards until 2011, while waiting for this measure to apply to the whole country.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only has it imposed needless administrative demands on organic producers, but the Conservative government has also upheld the unrealistic 98% standard for labelling goods as “Product of Canada”.

Will the real Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, who claims to have conducted consultations all summer long, finally listen to producers, processors, consumers, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, and even his own officials, who agree that the standard should be 85%?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the Bloc Québécois that when we conducted the first consultation, people agreed with the 98% standard for labelling goods as products of Canada.

That said, while his party was doing nothing but complaining, we met with processors. We organized a meeting with them recently. They shared their concerns, and we are working on the issue to find a solution to protect consumers and help our processors at the same time.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the depth of the economic crisis is touching every industry and every household, with the loss of 269,000 jobs in southern Ontario alone.

Seven months have passed since the announcement of the southern Ontario development agency to help small and medium business survive or start up. Not one penny of the billion dollars promised has flowed from it into southern Ontario. No criteria has been set up and there are no application forms.

The SODA program is nothing but an empty storefront with hundreds of business owners trying to create jobs for Ontario families knocking at the door facing unfilled promises. When will the door open?

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to advise the member to pay attention. The door is wide open and it might hit him.

Our government has acted very diligently and responsibly to create jobs and stimulate the economy in this downturn. We have helped communities. We have helped venture capitalists. We have helped industry through IRAP. Money is already flowing. I note there are 12,000 new jobs in Ontario alone in June.

We do not want to interrupt this progress with an unnecessary, opportunistic election. That is not what Canadians need.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows he is misstating the facts.

I have just spoken to Community Futures in Wellington, Waterloo, Simcoe, Bruce, Collingwood, Orillia, Welland, Niagara, and they expressed overwhelming concern, frustration, and a lack of communication or direction from the minister. There is no money, no ability to staff their offices to receive applications, and if the money finally comes they feel they would be forced to rush it out, compromising the opportunity for meaningful results.

They urge the Liberal opposition to shake money out of the government. How does the member answer the accusations from the--

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of State.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, the member can yell all he wants. Here is a quote: “It's clear that we're on the right track and our approach is transforming the economy of this region and FedDev Ontario will play a critical role...”.

The rhetoric is up and loud by members of that party, whose intent is to go to an election to find a job for themselves.

This government is focused on creating jobs for Canadians, supporting Canadian businesses in southern Ontario and every community in between, regardless of their selfish priorities.

TaxationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has decided to stimulate the economy by having families and consumers pay more taxes. The Liberals are also in favour of harmonizing the sales tax. That means that gas, heating and even funerals will cost more. People living in northern Ontario and British Columbia do not want tax increases.

Why is the minister intent on raising taxes?

TaxationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member ought to look at the last generation in Canadian history and go back to when the previous governments worked with the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador when they decided to harmonize their taxes, more recently with the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, and the province of Quebec may as well at one time.

There are other provinces that have not made the decision to harmonize. As I have said repeatedly, this is a decision for the provincial governments, not for the Government of Canada.

TaxationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government does not understand the extent of the problem in northern Ontario. The Constance Lake First Nation lost its post office in November 2008. People have to travel 80 kilometres to mail a letter or pick up their GST rebate. With another gas tax, it will cost more. Furthermore, there is no public transportation for this community.

Are remote and first nations communities not entitled to the same services as all other communities?

TaxationOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we have a very ambitious plan and a very good budget allocation that came out of Canada's action plan because we care very much that first nations have the same opportunities as every other Canadian.

The member calling for rapid transit in these isolated communities is not part of the answer. What is important are the things we are working on: education reform, housing allocations, water and waste water action plans. Those are the sorts of things that mean something in aboriginal communities, and that is why we have money to make that investment and to make it happen.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, last year Canadian producers exported high-quality beef to more than 55 countries. Unfortunately, many countries continue to close their doors to Canadian beef despite Canada's cutting-edge animal health care systems.

Can the Minister of International Trade tell this House what the Conservative government is doing to stand up for Canadian producers?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I acknowledge how my colleague stands up for producers in her own constituency.

On the ban on beef from Colombia alone, in fact if we did not have that ban in place right now, we would have about a $6 million access for our producers. I wish the opposition parties would stop their grandstanding and help us move along the Colombia free trade agreement.

On the issue of Colombia's ban, the Minister of Agriculture and I have continually pursued this issue. I am pleased to announce that the country of Colombia has announced today that it is lifting that ban on beef.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. That will bring to a conclusion our question period for today.

The hon. member for Hochelaga, on a point of order.

Resignation of MemberRoutine Proceedings

September 16th, 2009 / 3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform the House that I will be leaving my position as a member of Parliament and that my resignation will be effective today. I could not leave without saying that I have loved my work here in Parliament. As parliamentarians, we have chosen to transform our communities, our society and our world through ideas, and of course, through debate.

I would like to thank the people of Hochelaga, who placed their trust in me six times. Of course I would like to thank my assistants. Working with them has been a pleasure. I would like to thank Benoît Demuy, in my constituency, and Mario Lalancette, who has been with me for 13 years, which makes him practically a saint, I know. I would also like to thank my riding assistant, Denis Bourgeois, my riding association president, Maxime Bellerose, and my colleagues. I would like to thank my leader, who always gave me responsibilities that made my work here in Parliament a pleasure. I would also like to thank my party whip, who has always been so understanding and has so graciously fulfilled his duties. I leave this House knowing that I have friends in all the parties. It has been a pleasure to serve democracy and the people of Hochelaga.